Coronavirus: Islington’s finance chief warns Covid-19 crisis could cost council £60million

Cllr Satnam Gill OBE. Picture: Islington Council

Cllr Satnam Gill OBE. Picture: Islington Council - Credit: Archant

Islington’s finance chief warns the Covid-19 crisis could cost the council about £60million by the end of the year.

The government has given Islington Council about £15.6m extra funding during the pandemic, and has suggested more money will be made available if necessary.

But Islington’s finance lead Cllr Satnam Gill OBE says: “The help they’re offering is nowhere going to cover the cost”.

He added: “They have given us about £15.6m towards the cost of doing it but we think it will cost us about £60m at the end of this year, and this £15m is going to be nothing compared [to that].

“What they’re not looking at is the impact on council income. Parking income is down about £2million a month, income from leisure centres has completely gone but we are still having to pay for all those buildings. When you add all those up with additional costs we think it will add up to £60million for the year. That’s assuming [lockdown] only lasts for three months and then we are in partial lockdown for a year.”

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The Office For Budget Responsibility fiscal watchdog has warned that, if the lockdown lasts for three months, the UK economy shrink by 35 per cent this spring.

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